12 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – US President Barack Obama has signed an Executive Order that will advance the goals of his Power Africa initiative. The Power Africa Initiative is aimed at expanding access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.
President Obama’s Executive Order establishes the Power Africa Working Group which is made up of a number of representatives from various executive brand departments and agencies of the US government. It will be co-chaired by the Coordinator for Power Africa within USAID and a member of the National Security Council (NSC) staff to be designated by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
According to the Executive Order, the Working Group shall serve as the multi-agency coordinating and advisory body for government’s efforts to identify, evaluate, prioritize, and deliver assistance to energy projects across sub-Saharan Africa.
“Through the Working Group, participating departments and agencies shall provide advice and promote coherence of United States government positions and assistance for priority energy projects and policy reforms in support of Power Africa,” the order reads.
The Working Group may consult with non-US government entities that participate in Power Africa as bilateral, multilateral, private sector partners, and NGOs to provide input and advice to the US government, as appropriate, regarding the implementation of Power Africa. It will identify, prioritize, and evaluate potential Power Africa projects, regulatory and policy reforms, and programmatic focus areas, including maximizing deployment of and access to renewable energy.
It will also, among other things, monitor and periodically evaluate Power Africa projects and activities to measure the effectiveness of United States governmental assistance and other development finance tools in achieving Power Africa’s electricity generation and access goals, and to share lessons learned. These evaluations may recommend reforms to facilitate support for future projects and activities, and to increase the Working Group’s effectiveness.